Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fundraiser for Cambodia

I'm just going to pop the speech I read at the fundraiser night, into this blog. Basically I'm posting this for my wonderful friends who donated to my fundraiser page and/or bought tickets to the night but were unable to attend - I wanted you to get a sense of the night, a bit about the headspace I'm in right now in regards to the trip etc. There's a few words about the trip, the fundraiser and the process we've been on to get Bec (my friend who is going with me) and I, on the road to Cambodia. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has contributed to the building of this kindergarten. You are the people that make the world a better place, you are the change that we want to see in the world. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And please, keep on being the amazingly generous and open hearted individuals I know you to be. You truly are, fabulous.

"Most of you know the real reason that Bec and I are doing this Cambodian trip. Frankly it’s for one reason – we both have three kids. Three beautiful children, who without doubt are the light of our lives. Three children, who have absolutely no chance of getting on that plane with us.

Oh I know what you’re thinking, sure you get to escape the manic craziness that is the day to day madness of kid wrangling three children under the age of 6. You get to leave behind the 4 year old arguing with the 6 year old and the babies screaming all night long and the endless pooey nappies. Sure you get to leave behind the school lunches, the school drop offs, the organizing of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, baths, bedtimes, midnight wake ups, bedwetting, fighting, yelling, screaming, crayon drawn on walls, milk spilled on floors, vomiting, crying, more pooey nappies, tantrums, washing, cooking, ironing (ok maybe not ironing).  Sure you say to yourself, you get to leave all that behind, but you realise you have to cycle across Cambodia in 40 degree heat instead?

And to that I say.

Bec and I would have swum in shark infested waters to get on that plane.

This adventure has 3 parts.
The first part is raising $13,000 between us.
The second part is training to get fit enough to cycle across Cambodia.
And the third part is, who the hell is going to look after our kids whilst we’re away?

Let’s jump to part two for a second.
I thought I was doing fairly poorly in the training department, there was no way I was on schedule of the number of hours required in the saddle to be in shape for Cambodia. That is, I thought I was doing fairly badly until I found out how Bec’s training had been going. Whilst I was gritting my teeth and toughing it out with the lycra clad Tour D’France boys doing laps around Centennial Park, Bec it seemed was yet to even blow the dust off her bicycle that was still sitting under the house in storage.

But even still, whilst Bec’s complete inactivity did make me feel moderately better, I was still concerned at the amount of trainging required.  We were emailed some time ago, the required training schedule for this trip.
4 times a week we were told to be cycling, approximately 3 hours each time.
Leading up to 8 hours cycling, 3 times a week.

See now here’s the thing. When they say start off with 3 hours cycling, they mean in one go. They mean you are to sit on the bike for three hours, in one sitting. Not 15 or 20 minutes here and there a few times a week adding UP TO THREE HOURS.  No they mean, get your arse on the bike start peddling and don’t get off until something falls off. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, the next aim was to be doing it for 8 hours in one sitting, up to three times a week.

Let me just briefly introduce you into a world where you are required to look after three children 7 days a week.  One barely has time to have a ten minute shower once a day, let alone cycle self around block for three bloody hours 4 times a week.  Hardly any point thinking about the 8 hour block. Where do you fit that in? probably somewhere between 10pm and 6am?
But as  the committed cyclist we are, we diligently took to Centennial Park whenever free time would avail itself to us and we would and continue to, cycle ourselves lap after lap around the park.

I think what you are wondering then, if I was so shocked at the training guide, why would someone take up a cycling challenge if they weren’t into cycling? And this I think is an excellent question. One I probably should have put more thought into prior to signing up. After all the last time I was on a bicycle I was 12. I didn’t even own a bike to practice on. Really, the Gods were sending me every available bit of information to say this was not the challenge for me. Wait until they do the gin and tonic challenge they were whispering, you’ll do much better with that training guide.

But irrespective of my lack of bicycling prowess I did take self off to Centennial and I did and do continue to find myself wondering how is it, I mean really, how is it that those lycra clad dudes manage to lap me, lap after lap? I am peddling, seriously peddling, and still they pass me. I even bought myself some fancy lycra padded bike shorts thinking perhaps this was a wind resistance issue. Turns out, not so much. My ego has taken a hammering at Centennial Park, me cycling around and around, 8 to 10 laps of the bloody place and I get lapped so many times I get to know which cyclist is which, “Oh that’s the ANZ cycling team guy.” “Oh that’s the guy with the really hot body.” “Oh that’s another guy with a really hot body.” “Gosh who knew cyclist had such hot bodies.” “Oh shit, that’s a stray branch I just hit on the road oh shit I’m about to fall off the bike.” 
Then of course there is the incidental issue of pain management when one cycles for 3 hours on the trott. The pain your arse experiences is like non other. Its as though a small burning fire starts somewhere between your pubic bone and your tail bone. I think the first stirring of pain in the loins kicks in after about 20 minutes. You find yourself cycling along moaning, “Oh god my crutch is killing me."
Then you look up at the hot cyclist passing your by with nerry a hint of the pain trobbing its way from your nether regions into your bum muscles, and you wonder as you pant and curse the pain,  "How do they manage to keep cycling with this type of pain in their crutch?"
And you look up, sweat dripping from your brow, musing, "Feels like molton lava between my legs.”
And as the pain deepens you start having crazy thoughts along the lines of, “I wonder if I could put a cushion on the bike and then strap myself to cushion in manner of removalist truck.”
And then the pain eases. It just stops. It's as though all the blood supply to your crutch has shut down and all the nerves have died. Ah blessed relief. Finally no more pain.
And it's probably about that time you realise that your left foot has gone to sleep.
It's just given up the ghost, and cant peddle anymore.
And then you look up and notice, “Oh look the ANZ guy has just lapped me again.”

And on and on it goes, me peddling as hard as I can, even watching them as they pass me by, watching their legs pump up and down and I try and match  my leg speed to pump up and down at their pace, but still they pass me by. Damn this lycra boys effortlessly lapping me, leaving me and my ego in tatters. But one day, one day I lapped my first person. God it was exhilarating. Me, the lapped, the pathetic cyclist was finally, finally about to lap her first person on the track. I sped up as I got to them, veered out to the side of them, and then sped up as I over took them. It was all I could do not to punch my arm in the air with sheer joy! I had overtaken someone! Who cared if he was only 6 years old! I got him fair and square. Eat my dust baby! 

Which brings me to the first part of this adventure. The raising the money side. Which of course is why you are all here tonight. Bec and I are so enormously thrilled that you have all come out to support us. Your money is going to build this kindergarten which will make such a difference to the community there, even just to one little life over there.

Now it should be noted. Neither Bec or I have ever auctioned anything in our lives before. This is going to be a trial and error event. Which is why we are only auctioning 3 items. We figured no point torturing you all, all evening. Please feel free to bid way above the actual cost of the item, after all if we don’t reach our target, they don’t let us on the plane. And after all that bloody cycing around centennial park, it would be a crying shame to have to stay home and um, look after our three children. Which brings me to the third item of the adventure. Which is of course, who will be looking after our kids? And to that we have no answer. I’m going to leave a bowl of food out, and a mobile phone. Bec has decided to leave the front door unlocked and give them tips on how to shoplift from the local supermarket.
Actually in all seriousness, if it were not for our amazing husbands, Richard and Simon, this trip would not be possible. They have been a well of support, both in the fact that they are going to spend the next couple of weeks being sole parents to three ratbags and also for all the support getting tonight ready. Richard particularly, thank you for all the invitations and all the graphic layout work youv’e done for the silent auctions. Thank you to all the wonderful people who dontated tonight. It is your generosity that has made this evening possible. Bec and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

And now. Onto the good bit. Onto the first auction item of the night. "